Dubai has become the seventh most popular city globally in terms of inbound international visitors,outranking destinations such as Hong Kong,
Barcelona,Rome and Milan,a report said today.
According to the third annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities 2013 Index,Dubai has improved upon its last year’s eighth ranking and climbed a notch higher.
At 10.9 per cent,the Gulf city registered the strongest growth in arrival numbers among the top ten global markets. It shared the feat with this year’s number one city of Bangkok.
About 9.89 million overnight visitors are expected to visit Dubai this year,the report added.
Dubai also topped the list of Middle East and Africa’s favourite destination cities with international overnights visitors to the tune of 9.9 million.
“While the Middle East and Africa’s top ten cities’ lineup is exactly the same as in 2012,there is a striking difference in how far Dubai is ahead of the other cities,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong,Global Economic Advisor for MasterCard and the author of the report.
“Its international arrival number is almost twice that of Riyadh in second rank,and about four times as high as the third-ranked Johannesburg,” Hedrick-Wong added.
Dubai also ranks eighth in the world as far as international overnight visitor spending is concerned,with an estimated USD 10.4 billion expected to be spent in the city
The Index indicates that if all top 10 destination cities maintain their current rates of growth in the next few years,Dubai will surpass Singapore and New York in 2016 and Paris in 2017 in terms of international visitor arrivals.
The index for the first time has put an Asian country,Bangkok,at the top of its list.
London,Paris,Singapore and New York rounded off the top five followed by Istanbul,Dubai,Kuala Lumpur,Hong Kong and Barcelona.